Eating, drinking and being Merry 

My kitchen has been a slower place than usual over the past month.

First we had the whirlwind of December with parties, visits, trips to a cottage, and a whole lot of fun. I did have friends over for two different dinner and whipped up some new recipes – My New Roots Parsnip (I went out and bought parsnips after this meal – said my friend), Winter Veggie Quinoa Tart, and Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad (this was fantastic!).

I also tried making candy for the first time. I attempted this Maple Bourbon Caramels recipe, but something wasn’t working for me (maybe my stove, maybe my new candy thermometer, maybe my brain?) and the first batch turned into a bit of a caramel sauce and the second into a brittle. I guess when life gives you the wrong kind of candy you can make a scrumptious ice cream sundae?

 

Reason #2 for the slow kitchen was our holiday trips to see family in Southern Ontario and then in Dubai. So lots of other people’s home cooking (thanks moms!) and dining out (more on that to come soon with #VeggieTravels). In Dubai we also had the opportunity to go to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for a traditional Emerati breakfast. This food was all delicious! Their website has details on some of the goodies. 

And finally, reason #3 was an illness at the end of my trip to Dubai which has meant a lot of boring, bland food for the last couple of weeks.

Regardless I can also add the following to my made list:

And all in all I made 139 new recipes in 2015! Not too shabby, but certainly room for a few more in 2016 🙂

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My Recipe Book

I’ve mentioned that I have a recipe collecting problem before and that the result is a crazy spreadsheet I call My Recipe Book (although I won’t take credit for creating a single one of these recipes!). I’m about to share some more…

I’m somewhat ashamed of my obsessive tendencies, but I’m also kind of proud – as anyone who has heard me yammer about this document will already know. It’s a beast with 2082 recipes and growing! Maybe it’s best that my screen capture is small, but to give you an idea I have a few columns where I track:Recipe Book

  • Recipe Name
  • Where I can find the recipe to make it (which book/page, my pinterest page, etc)
  • Where I found it (especially helpful for some of my handwritten copies!)
  • If I’ve made it yet or not
  • What season it is best for (or when in doubt – all!)
  • What type of meal it is (breakfast, lunch, appetizer, etc)
  • My comments (sometimes I’ll add in a certain event I took it too for a bit of memories :))
  • And one of my favourites – if there are any ingredients in it which I wouldn’t normally have on hand or use all of. This is great when you have something like fresh dill or a certain kind of nut for a recipe and want to find something to use up the rest of your product.

Oh and it’s all sortable. April Pie ChartSo you want a main course for the spring time… how about “Forbidden rice spring veggie bowls w tahini lemon dressing” (yes, actually. I think I will add to the list for next week!) I also have a pie chart (I love pie charts. Oh and pie!) so I can keep track of how obsessive I am and make sure I don’t get too many more recipes than I am making. Today I’m at 25.9% which is actually an improvement. I’ve already made 63 recipes in 2015 (to at least keep pace with how many I’ve added!!)

So for today’s post I’ve dug back into my recipe archives and made some sweet potato patties from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean cookbook (most cookbook recipes can also be found online if you’re interested – give it a google). I’m pretty sure I read through this one while visiting my parents because I don’t know anything about Tosca Reno and would never have guessed she would have vegetarian options.

These patties looked very promising, but upon first flip they started to fall apart. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that the sunflower seeds I replaced with more ground almond was the difference maker. Either way the taste was pretty good and I love that they contained a ton of veggies (sweet potatoes, zucchini, and carrots).

The kitchen was a bit slow this week because I caught a energy-zapping cold going around, but there were a few more to include:

  • Banana Date Muffins from It’s All Good by Gwenyth Paltrow. Gwenyth (aka. Goop) has some recipes that are amongst by faves, but this was nothing special. I didn’t notice the dates in the muffins at all and that should have been the best part!
  • This marshmallow popcorn from Oh Sweet Basil was incredible! Because I wasn’t feeling well I spent a lot of time watching Netflix this weekend and two days of regular old salt and butter popcorn didn’t feel right. This sure did. P.S. If you click that link I cannot be held accountable – especially if you scroll to see the other popcorn recipes she shares. It won’t be the last one I make that’s for sure.